Saturday, 30 April 2022

Women More Exposed to Sexual Harassment in Workplace Than Men, Ombudsman Says

ZAGREB, 30 April 2022 - Women under 50 are up to seven times more exposed to sexual harassment in the workplace than men, Gender Equality Ombudsman Višnja Ljubičić said in parliament earlier this week on the occasion of World Day for Safety and Health at Work, observed on 28 April.

Numerous surveys in Croatia confirm the occurrence of harassment, including sexual, in the workplace and that it is gender-based, she said.

They show that 7.9% of women under 50 experience sexual harassment in the workplace, especially those under 35, as against 1.1% of men.

Last year saw a significant increase in sexual harassment complaints thanks to initiatives such as #nisamtražila (I didn't ask for it).

However, only one in ten respondents reported it, citing fear of losing the job and not believing that the perpetrator will be punished.

Also, 36.6% of female respondents reported mobbing, as against 10% fewer men.

Ljubičić said that in professions like social welfare, health, education, administration and journalism, female employees were the victims of violent behaviour by service users.

Over 75% of men and women said the sexual harassment and unacceptable behaviour they experienced in the workplace affected their health, either physically or mentally.

Ljubičić said certain steps forward were made in 2021, including stricter penalties and prosecution ex officio for the criminal offence of sexual harassment.

On the other hand, she added, only several cases are prosecuted a year and there are even fewer convictions.

Tuesday, 12 April 2022

4 Young Researchers Given Scholarships Under "For Women in Science" Scheme

ZAGREB, 12 April 2022 - Under the Croatian national scholarship programme called "For Women in Science", four recipients were formally awarded scholarships for 2022 at a ceremony held in Zagreb on Tuesday.

The scholarships under this scheme are awarded to up-and-coming researchers in natural sciences and interdisciplinary areas, and this year those are Natalija Ivanjko, a molecular biotechnologist, Katarina Mužina, a chemical engineer, Ana Novačić, a molecular biologist, and Marsela Polić, a scientist at the Zagreb Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Information Technology.

Until 2021, this scholarship programme, supported by the Croatian Ministry of Culture and L'Oreal Adria, had covered 58 young women researchers who did projects and studies for their doctoral degrees.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

HUP: Women Still Under Represented in Commerce

ZAGREB, 8 March 2022 - Despite greater employability and more women in leading positions they are still insufficiently represented in the economy, particularly at the highest levels which indicates that there are still significant legal, structural and cultural obstacles to their full equality, it was heard at a conference on Tuesday.

The conference  - An economy without prejudice strengthening the economy by empowering women - was organised on the occasion of International Women's Day by the Croatian Employers' Association (HUP) and International Network of Business Women.

The status of women in Croatian society hasn't changed drastically despite a lot of stakeholders being included in changing the mood and awareness, Milka Kosanović from HUP said. She said that women are still paid less than men, with women earning 84% to 87% of the pay of their male colleagues for the same job. Today 79% of girls enrol in higher education and 49% gain higher qualifications.

"When they start climbing up the career ladder, women are faced with something we know as the glass ceiling. They don't advance equally with men and certain positions are not accessible to them and they are paid 13% to 16% less for similar jobs," said Kosanović.

It is necessary to systematically work on changing the mindset of women too. Women need to be aware that they can do everything men can and society needs to live by the principles it advocates," she added.

Gordana Matković, the owner of the Educamix for the development of human potential and a member of the International Network of Business Women said that more than 100 years have passed since the start of the struggle for equal rights, however, even today we are talking about the inequality of women.

That is why in fact the network organised today's conference to motivate society to think about ways of improving the status of women.

Congratulating women on the occasion of International Women's Day HUP Director-General Damir Zorić said that things can always be better. He added that he was glad that women have recognised HUP as a possible platform where they can act and improve things.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Plenković: Women Make Society More Progressive, Humane and Better

ZAGREB, 8 March 2022 - Prime Minister Andrej Plenković congratulated women on International Women's Day on Tuesday, thanking them for making Croatian society more progressive, humane and better, and in particular for nurturing family values.

"Achieving equality for women in society is our firm commitment. With the synergy of the measures for greater employability of women, advancing demographic measures and the resolute fight against all forms of discrimination and violence against women, we are resolute in creating a society of equal opportunities," Plenković said on his Twitter account.

Tuesday, 8 March 2022

Stop Discrimination Against Women Who Choose to be Mothers, Says NGO

ZAGREB, 8 March 2022 - Marking International Women's Day, the non-governmental organisation U ime obitelji (In the Name of the Family) said on Tuesday that the two most frequent forms of social injustice that a lot of women in Croatia are faced with is working on Sunday and the the discrimination women who choose to be mothers are subjected to on the labour market.

The NGO underscored that tens of thousands of women who work six days a week are compelled out of fear of losing their jobs to work a seventh day, Sundays and public holidays, without any or with a minimum benefit.

In addition, women who choose to be mothers are left without jobs after falling pregnant, or when they return from maternity leave they are often demoted to a less paid job.

"Recently, we have witnessed an especially negative campaign and stigmatisation of women who choose to stay at home and dedicate themselves to raising their children and caring for their families. Those attacks were launched from positions of political power, focused on beneficiaries of stay at home parenting," the NGO said.

The NGO said that in a plural society every woman has to have the right to choose what sort of life she considers to be the most appropriate for her and her family. The NGO also considers that it is important to financially value often unnoticed work done by women in the family. 

The NGO called on women to report any form of discrimination and on employers and the competent authorities to consistently implement the law. The NGO also called on the government to take the necessary steps to ensure non-working Sundays as a free day for the family and to prevent any discrimination, particularly against pregnant women and mothers.

Congratulating women on International Women's Day, the NGO greeted all women, especially those who, despite the numerous obstacles and pressure, manage to successfully balance their family and work life.

Saturday, 5 March 2022

Still No Gender Equality in EU, Round Table Hears

ZAGREB, 5 March 2022 - Women and men are still not equal in the EU, although considerable progress has been made in the last decade, it was said in Split on Saturday at a round table on women in business and politics organised by Croatian MEP Željana Zovko.

She said exceptional attention was being paid in the European Parliament to valuing women's work in the workplace and in the household.

Young women and girls should be made aware to raise their voices and take a more decisive role because their participation in this insecure world is more than essential, she added.

There is a war in Ukraine, insecurity on EU borders and women are expected to participate, not just to treat wounds and provide comfort, but to sit at the table when important and difficult decisions are being made, Zovko said.

"The world of today is chaotic, we don't have resolute people and we lost a lot with the departure of Angela Merkel who, in a way, provided stability in the European Union," she said, adding that she is proud that the presidents of the European Parliament and the European Commission are women, Roberta Metsola and Ursula von der Leyen, respectively.

Women earn 16% less than men

Women in the EU earn 16% less than men on average and, according to the Croatian Employment Service, they make up 56% of the jobless, said Danica Baričević, president of the Split-Dalmatia County Gender Equality Commission, which co-organised the conference.

She added that some Croatian political parties did not comply with legal requirements on women's representation in politics and election slates.

Under the Gender Equality Act, women must make up 40% of the candidates on the slates.

Only 25% of the members of the Croatian parliament are women and only two Croatian counties are headed by women, Požega-Slavonia County (Antonija Jozić) and Karlovac County (Martina Furdek Hajdin).

In February 2021, MEPs warned that gender equality had not been achieved in even one EU member state.

The participants in the round table extended support to the women of Ukraine and their families who left their homes as well as to those who stayed to defend their country. They extended their support also at a protest against the aggression on Ukraine held in Split.

Saturday, 5 March 2022

Women Appear in Only 36% of TV Features, Conference Hears

ZAGREB, 5 March 2022 - RTL accounts for the largest share of TV features in which women appear (39%), followed by Croatian Television (37%) and Nova TV (33%), and the three stations' combined average is 36%, according to an analysis whose findings were presented on Saturday at a conference on women in the media sphere.

The analysis was done last October by the Electronic Media Agency, which examined 93 news programmes with 2,439 features. Women appeared in 889.

Women mainly appeared in features on science, health and welfare, followed by social and legal topics, while politics and the government accounted for only 15%.

Culture minister: Stereotypes exist, but we have become more aware

Culture and Media Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek said expert speakers on political topics were mainly men, resulting in their dominance in the media sphere.

Stereotypes exist, but it is encouraging that we are more aware of the need to affirm gender equality in the media sphere and the position of women in society, she said, adding that it is also encouraging that the data on Croatia are better than on some other states.

The goal is to promote equality and women's contribution to society through all public policies, including the media policy, she said, underlining the need to encourage media literacy in order to reduce hate speech, primarily on social media.

MEP: Women work one month in the year for free

We can be satisfied with the progress in the visibility of women in the media sphere, said Croatian MEP Sunčana Glavak, who organised the conference in cooperation with the Electronic Media Agency as part of the Conference on the Future of Europe.

We have better data than other EU countries, but the pay gap shows that women work one month in the year for free, she said, adding that irregularities and inequalities must be changed. "We are doing that at European Parliament level."

Glavak said that by increasing women's representation in the media, it was necessary to encourage young women to fight for better power positions.

It is important that women in the media don't talk only about women's topics, she said, adding that there are still not enough women in decision making and heading management boards. "Data tell us that we need 67 years to achieve women's equality."

Gender Equality Ombudswoman Višnja Ljubičić said an analysis of 140 management companies showed that women were still far from being equal to men.

Equality can be achieved only through education, she said, adding that training courses with employers are necessary as well as transparency in choosing people.

Thursday, 3 February 2022

Exposure of Female Athletes in Croatian Media: Can We Do More?

February 3, 2022 - Croatia has had unbelievable success in multiple sports since independence, regardless of funding, the size of the country, and various other factors. Football comes to mind, handball, water polo, and many more. However, some of the biggest success Croatia has ever had was achieved by female athletes. Why do we hear so little about them and can we do more? A look at the exposure of female athletes in Croatian media.

The number 4. It symbolizes a lot of things in the world: Marvel comic book heroes Fantastic Four, four sides of the world, Croatian band Four Aces (4 Asa), four medals Janica Kostelić won in the Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City in 2002 and so much more. However, besides this last great achievement number four represents for Croatian sports history, it also displays an abysmal percentage of media coverage of female sports in Croatian media. A

According to the analysis “Equality Between Men and Women in Sports Programs of Audiovisual Media”, conducted by Electronic Media Agency in 2019, across the three major TV stations (HTV, RTL, NOVA TV), the majority of media coverage (during sports news) is spent on men’s football, and men’s sport, in general, takes over 80 percent of the informative sports news. It dominates on commercial TV stations like RTL and NOVA TV. This sample is taken over three months in 2016, where they analyzed over two and a half hours of news footage. The agency also included other factors like female athlete speeches during informative sport news, which amounted to around six percent. After football, the most represented sports are basketball and tennis. Although in modest proportion, news about female athletes and their successes is still present. Television reports and articles that are dedicated to “unrepresented” sports like gymnastics, alpine skiing, archery, and athletics, have female athletes, however, they are always reported with men.

The only time female athletes are covered in the media is when the “miracle run” happens; e.g., Croatia women's handball team winning the bronze medal at Euros in 2020, or a Croatian female athlete becomes an internet sensation because of her beauty e.g., Antonija Mišura in the London Olympics in 2012.

The Electronic Media Agency also forwarded a survey with two main questions to sport federations and media representatives: “Do you think that women's sport in Croatia is sufficiently represented in the informative program of Croatian electronic media” and “What should happen or improve to make women's sport more represented in electronic media? Where do you see the problem and the possibility for improvement?”.

In conclusion, all sport federations agree on a few things. The amount of women’s sports content on their official social media and websites is almost equal to men’s but the media is not trying enough to do the same. Oversexualizing news about female athletes is, unfortunately, a common thing - emphasis on the looks, the way they dress, who are their partners, and more. Furthermore, no television coverage, e.g. Croatia women’s handball team didn’t have TV coverage for most Croatian viewers during their incredible run at European Championship in 2020, until they reached the semifinals of the tournament. Most of the women’s sports games are aired during night as replays, which is still not good enough. In their response to the survey, they also emphasized the effort they are putting in making women’s sports more popular in Croatia and sent a message to the media to start covering female athletes in an appropriate manner.

On the other hand, media representatives agree with sports federation pleas but also express their obstacles in doing proper media coverage for women’s sports. Particularly, the market trends in the media sphere. They have statistics and parameters that show distinctly more hits and clicks on articles about men’s sports, in this case, football. Also, the situation in other countries is not better - there are struggles as well in reporting women’s sports news. In the end, media representatives still feel like they could do a lot more in informing the Croatian public about successes their female athletes achieve and hope, with the support of other institutions and Croatians will, that the future is bright for reporting about women in sports.

How can we, as the media, make sports events and news more diverse, interesting, and appealing for everyone? How can we expand the interests of Croatians to female sports as well? Again, the question from the beginning of the article is - can we do more? Yes, but we cannot do it alone. It is well known that Croatia has incomparably fewer money investments in sports than other countries in Europe and if it isn’t for our amazing athletes' will and passion, we would not be where we are now. Croatia still doesn’t have appropriate marketing campaigns for women's sports nor regulations which would encourage more media coverage.

Nevertheless, journalists and media also need to do better. Oversexualizing every aspect of female athletes and bigotry through Croatian media probably won’t go anywhere soon but with future regulations and by joint efforts with other sports and governing institutions, the media atmosphere will be much more favorable for female athletes.

If we can celebrate them when they are on top of the world, we can at least give them a platform to show them that there are people who care and support them regardless they are best or not. These surveys studies showed that every representative in Croatian sports media and sports itself know about the issue. The talk is in progress and slowly but surely the act is in motion. We can start here.

 To read more about sport in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.

Friday, 28 January 2022

How Safe Is Croatia For a Solo Female Traveller?

January 28, 2022 - As COVID restrictions get lifted and things are slowly getting back to normal, the excitement of travel is returning for many. But how safe is Croatia for a solo female traveller?

Of course, this still means travel plans will involve precautions such as testing. And for women, in particular, there is always the factor of safety to consider - especially for women who travel alone, or in a small group with other women. Given the statistics of women’s safety being taken advantage of on holidays abroad, this is enough reason for many women to be hesitant or fully set back off the idea of travelling. But they shouldn’t have to miss out on travel, especially not after these challenging past couple of years, from which we could all use an exciting holiday abroad as a celebration of near-normalcy. 

However, for any solo female traveller planning to visit Croatia, you’ll be happy to know it is the perfect destination regarding both safety and attractions. Aside from its beautiful landscapes, rich history, and economic value for travel, Croatia consistently features high on global rankings for being one of the safest countries in the world. Last year, it was ranked the 2nd country in Europe for people feeling safe walking the streets at night alone. And having lived in Croatia for most of my life, I can say from personal experience that I’ve never felt as safe on a night out anywhere else as I have there. Especially as a young woman currently based in London, UK. With the rising issue of misogynistic crimes, particularly on the streets and on the nightlife scene happening here, there are definitely times when I miss how carefree I got to be in Zagreb or Hvar. And Croatia is home to beautiful scenery, historic and cultural monuments, including the set of Game of Thrones, and nightlife including music festivals such as Ultra and INMusic. The 2022 summer season should see many flying over to Croatia to experience these places and events, and it is important that everyone should not only enjoy themselves but not at the cost of their health or personal safety. 

If you travel to Croatia, you’ll generally be in safe conditions, whether you choose to go to the Dalmatian coast or the capital Zagreb. I would advise any tourist to be wary of pickpockets or scammers, as these tend to be a common issue during tourist season. Otherwise, if you’re travelling on the coast, you can enjoy long hikes, trips to the beach, or a late-night roaming the streets without fear. In old towns like Split and Dubrovnik, however, be careful not to get lost in narrow streets and alleyways, which are not always well-lit. But in a country known for its low violent crime rates, you shouldn’t be too paranoid about having to walk a few dark streets.

A thing to know about Croatian culture is the value placed on helping others, especially in a vulnerable position (for instance, if the person has had a lot to drink). It’s a small country, so you get more of a sense of community you wouldn’t get in countries such as the UK or the US. And Croatian people are known for being friendly and hospitable and welcoming towards any tourist.

Uber drivers are reliable and not as likely to take advantage of passengers as in other countries, and public transport is safe. If visiting Zagreb, you’ll mainly be using the buses and trams to navigate the town, which are well-connected and not too expensive. Make the most of visiting the main square or upper town, one of the parks such as Jarun or Bundek, or the eclectic range of clubs and bars in Zagreb.

Especially the latter - Croatians enjoy a drink. Obviously, it should go without saying to drink responsibly. It’s always important to stay in control especially when in a foreign country. And of course, be careful not to fall victim to spiking. But in general, Zagreb nightlife isn’t met with many unsafe conditions. And, if your nights out tend to go into the early hours of the morning, the streets are usually quiet at that time, so you should have little to no worry about running into any danger. Speaking from many personal experiences, I have never experienced a night out in Zagreb in which neither my friends nor I felt truly threatened. We have always looked out for our safety, as a group of young people should when out and about, but were still able to enjoy ourselves and return home safe the next morning, whether it was by public transport, Uber, or walking home.   

It’s totally fine to worry about safety wherever you travel, especially following a pandemic. As fun as it is to travel, it’s always important to have your wits about you and to be prepared for any situation. And speaking on behalf of women: shouldn’t we be entitled to enjoy ourselves on an exciting journey without having our personal safety at risk? Especially in Croatia, a must-visit destination with plenty to offer.

For more, check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 14 July 2021

Women Work One Month For Free, Says MEP Glavak

ZAGREB, 14 July, 2021 - Women work one month for free due to lower wages and their total income, and consequently their pension, is lower because they care for children and the elderly, Croatian MEP Sunčana Glavak (EPP) said on Wednesday.

She was speaking at an event at Plitvice Lakes which discussed how to strengthen the position of women in Croatia and Europe, held as part of the Conference on the Future of Europe.

Glavak said a division into men's and women's departments was not felt in the EP because the persons there were competent, but added that a balance had not been achieved anywhere in Europe.

She called on citizens to engage in a debate on that and other European topics via the Commission's platform “”

Prime Minister Andrej Plenković said four women ministers in Croatia's 18 government departments was not enough, but added that they "run important departments and make a big contribution to this government."

He boasted that Croatian women hold high positions in European institutions - Dubravka Šuica is a Commission vice president, Marija Pejčinović Burić the Council of Europe secretary-general, Ivana Maletić a judge at the European Court of Auditors, and Maja Markovčić Kostelac the head of the European Maritime Safety Agency.

"As a government, we will continue to make an effort towards empowering and protecting women, towards equality and women's participation at a higher level and a high representation percentage," he said.

Present at the Plitvice conference were Tourism and Sport Minister Nikolina Brnjac, Culture and Media Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek, Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Nataša Tramišak and Agriculture Minister Marija Vučković, while Šuica and EPP Women President Doris Pack participated virtually.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.



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